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jigsaw puzzle

noun
1.
Also called picture puzzle. a set of irregularly cut pieces of pasteboard, wood, or the like that form a picture or design when fitted together.
2.
any complex, confusing situation, condition, or item, as one composed of seemingly diverse or unrelated elements.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for jig-saw puzzle

jigsaw puzzle

noun
1.
a puzzle in which the player has to reassemble a picture that has been mounted on a wooden or cardboard base and cut into a large number of irregularly shaped interlocking pieces
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for jig-saw puzzle

jigsaw puzzle

any set of varied, irregularly shaped pieces that, when properly assembled, form a picture or map. The puzzle is so named because the picture, originally attached to wood and later to paperboard, was cut into its pieces with a jigsaw, which cuts intricate lines and curves. Jigsaw puzzles may be very complicated vis-a-vis the number of pieces and the number of different cuts and thus take many hours to complete

Learn more about jigsaw puzzle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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